Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.11 2 Dec 2019


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Parents and other adults are being reminded to be positive family role models this Christmas.

Drinkaware says family celebrations are top occasions where children are exposed to parents' drinking.

The 2019 Drinkaware Index reveals almost one in five adults were first introduced to alcohol in the home.

While 27% of adults were given their first drink by a parent or close relative.

Drinkaware, the national charity working to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse, is encouraging parents and others to be positive role models around alcohol for their children over Christmas.

Some 78% of parents cite family celebrations as the top occasion where their children are exposed to them drinking alcohol - while almost half (44%) said this was likely happening in their home.

The group has three top tips for parents to help them be positive role models for their children.

  • Be mindful during Christmas celebrations: Think about the messages you are sending around alcohol, particularly at home
  • Make sure that alcohol isn't accessible: Almost one in five adults in Ireland were first introduced to alcohol in the home, while 27% were given their first drink by a parent or close relative
  • Stock up on no-alcohol options: Have plenty of visible non and low alcohol alternatives for adults to help reinforce that alcohol isn't the only option and is not needed to have fun or celebrate

Sheena Horgan, Drinkaware CEO, said: "Christmas is the season for family gatherings, when young and old come together to celebrate.

"However, it is also a time where alcohol can feature prominently during the festivities.

"Knowing this, Christmas provides the perfect opportunity for adults to be positive role models around alcohol for their children.

"We're encouraging parents - and other family members - to be mindful of the messages they may be sending about alcohol, often without even realising.

"Examples of this include commentary about alcohol and using it as a reward, a relaxant or a de-stressor, and also centring family occasions around alcohol.

"These types of messages give children the idea that alcohol is a necessary part of everyday life, no matter of the occasion.

"During Christmas we suggest limiting how often you or other adult relatives drink alcohol in front of your children.

"And stock up on no-alcohol alternatives for you and your guests - this will show your children that alcohol is not needed to enjoy an event.

"When parents have informed, mindful attitudes and behaviours about alcohol, they are showing their children how to do the same.

"If you plan to drink alcohol over the Christmas season, make sure your influence is a positive one. Order our free Parents Pack at drinkaware.ie for helpful tools and resources."


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